Red Bull 400 - Park City, UT

Ever since I saw a video being circulated about the race out in Germany, the #RedBull400 was on my list of challenges to complete. Then I heard it was in seven other locations, which happened to be one located in the US. It wasn't any where near Harlem or NYC, but in Park City, UT.

When the UA Running Team invited me out to come and participate there was no way I was going to pass this up. This past Friday I took a red-eye flight out to Salt Lake City. After the five and half hour flight I headed to the hotel put my stuff down and hit a quick hike with Jami (UA Running) and Ashlee (District Running Collective). It took an hour or two before my body and I recognized that I was no longer at sea level. Along the hike, since it rained before we got into town, it was muddy filled with some surprises. We ran into a small herd of deer as we reached up to 7,400+ ft and covered 2+ miles of trails. After dinner it was, time to roll, and then lights out.

The weather just wasn't in our favor there was a great deal of snow that fell that night, which stuck closer to the mountain peaks, and left our course pretty slippery. If you weren't aware the Park City #RedBull400 is the hardest out of all the locations. Not only is it a 37 degree incline, but we're already at a high altitude being in Utah. It may only be 400 meters, but we're racing up the K120 Ski jump at the Utah Olympic Park. Once I actually laid my own eyes on the course I can't front...I was a little nervous. This was absolutely insane!

I didn't even know what heat I was in until I arrived, which happened to be the first heat! I warmed up quickly and it was at the starting line for me...1, 2, 3, Gun shot, and we were off! I sprinted the first 100 meters and then the incline started. For the next 50 meters I did my best to use my momentum to propel me and then I kept digging until it was time for me to use both my hands and my feet to keep pushing forward. My lungs were on FIRE! Knowing this my two goals were to maintain a consistent breathing pattern and keep my feet moving. By the 200 meter mark my legs were exhausted, but I kept it moving. Apparently I didn't get the memo about the "Thong Strong" Team, which were two guys running the race in guess what...thongs! It was not only a distraction, but extra motivation for me to pass him by! LOL! At the 300 meter mark there was a wooden ramp and then it was torture the last 100 meters. I utilized the ropes on the course to help pull my body up as I continued to move my legs. As soon as I reached the top I tossed myself past the finish line and swore until I could swear no more. My lungs were soooooo sore! My legs were fine, so I got right up and walked straight to the ski lift that took me back to the starting line.

Once I got to the bottom it finally set in. I did it! So glad I accepted the challenge and never backed down. I have a couple things coming up, but I really want to know is when's your next challenge? And when I hit the #RedBull400 again who's with me?

- Amir 

Amir Figueroa1 Comment